Opposition Climate Proposal: Solid Plan to Reduce Emissions

The Federal Opposition climate approach announced today has the potential to actually reduce emissions in line with a credible and achievable emission reduction target of 45% by 2030, according to The Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program.

“Labor’s climate approach has the real potential to actually reduce emissions in line with a credible and achievable emission reduction target of 45% by 2030,” said Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Program Director at the Australia Institute.

“Using Australia’s dodgy Kyoto credits would be a shady accounting trick and not in the spirit of the Paris Agreement. Any future Government ought to rule this out and it is good to see the Federal Opposition make this step.

“The Paris Agreement is about reducing carbon emissions going forward, not relying on left-over loopholes. Labor’s decision on Kyoto credits joins the majority of industrialised countries that have taken this position and clearly distances itself from the Coalition.

“Taking existing climate policies built by previous Abbott and Turnbull Governments, Labor is proposing to use them to drive Australia’s emissions in the right direction – down instead of up.

“Australia Institute research shows Australia’s policymakers should be focusing emissions reduction efforts largely in the electricity sector. Australia’s high-polluting electricity sector can and should reduce emissions by more than 45% by 2030.

“The use of international offsets could be vetted to ensure only quality carbon units are imported and capped at five to ten percent to ensure the majority of emissions reductions take place in Australia.”

“Labor is proposing a long-overdue plan to address transport emissions, the third highest polluting sector, with straight-forward policies to implement fuel efficiency standard and to incentivise and play catch-up with the rest of the world on electric vehicles.

“Our research shows almost four in five Australian voters support higher fuel efficiency standards, even if this means cars cost a bit more up front (78%), government built charging stations (79%) and procuring electric vehicles for government fleets (76%).

“Australia’s international reputation as an honest broker and constructive diplomat on climate change has suffered immensely under the current Government. It is heartening to see the return of an Ambassador for Climate and a return to pride of place for the Climate Change Authority.

“Any climate policy remains unfinished until it stops the construction of new coal mines.

“It is important we address domestic emissions, especially in the growing LNG sector, but Australia’s climate impact in its oversized role as a supplier of fossil fuels to the world should be addressed.

“The Australian Government could join the Powering Past Coal Alliance, with countries and cities committed to phase out coal by 2030, including like the cities of Sydney, Melbourne and the ACT.”

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